With red-hot prospect Gary Sanchez in the midst of taking over the Yankees’ starting catcher role, an offseason deal sending veteran Brian McCann back to Atlanta is a legitimate possibility, writes Randy Miller of NJ.com. In theory, the teams could work out a deal sometime this season, as McCann cleared trade waivers two weeks ago. At the time, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees and Braves engaged in McCann-related discussions prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.
Atlanta likes the idea of adding the 32-year-old McCann as a leader of a young team, Heyman reported. Further, general manager John Coppolella told Jim Bowden of Sirius XM on Sunday that, along with finding a manager and upgrading his club’s rotation, improving at catcher will be a high priority during the offseason (Twitter link).
“We need to win games next year,” Coppolella said of the Braves, who will move to a new ballpark in 2017.
As of now, the Braves’ leading in-house candidate to start behind the dish next season is likely Tyler Flowers, who has been out since mid-July after suffering a broken hand. Flowers hit a solid .254/.343/.422 with seven homers in 210 plate appearances before the injury, but the Braves clearly aren’t buying into him as a solution.
Before joining the Yankees on a five-year, $85MM deal in December 2013, McCann was a star with the Braves. As a full-time member of the team from 2006-13, he batted .277/.350/.477 with 171 home runs in 4,150 PAs. That stellar production hasn’t quite transferred to New York, where McCann has posted a league-average .233/.311/.418 line in 1,452 trips to the plate. Still, McCann’s on-field mix of respectable offense and well-regarded defense (StatCorner and Baseball Prospectus have mostly given him good pitch-framing marks, and the latter is fond of his blocking skills) could make him an appealing option.
Moreover, the Yankees are amid a youth movement, making a McCann deal seem like an inevitably. Of course, McCann would first have to agree to waive his full no-trade clause. Money could also complicate matters, as he’s owed $34MM through the 2018 season. However, McCann’s best chance to continue as an everyday catcher will likely be in another uniform. The writing is on the wall in New York, which has turned to Sanchez lately and shifted McCann to designated hitter. The 23-year-old Sanchez is doing his best to seize the backstop role for good, having recorded a videogamelike .379/.419/.776 line with six long balls in 62 trips to the plate.
“It was always the case that Sanchez at some point was going to come up and hopefully come up to stay,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said earlier this week. “So we’ll cross that bridge in the offseason when we come to it, but McCann’s a great player, too.”
McCann is taking the Yankees’ future-oriented approach in stride, telling Miller, “This is the best young group I’ve seen.”
He’ll soon get a look at a different group of young players if a potential return to Atlanta becomes a reality.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
I am not going to lie, I am all for a reunion. We aren’t going to win the World Series next year. I would love to see McCann in a Braves uniform.
What’s so funny? I 100% agree with Krillin.
Seriously at what point did Krillin say anything remotely funny. He could be great for our young staff.
Agreed. Even if he hits .240/.320 with 15 homers I’ll be stoked to have him back. Mac and Flowers guiding the hella young pitching staff would be great. Add Recker in there if one of them gets hurt… good stuff.
Trade for Derek Norris not McCann
Atlanta Braves Fan 4 Life
Norris is not the hitter nor the defensive catcher that McCann can provide along with leadership. He is better defensively than Wieters who is oft injured. Krillin I agree lets work out the money issue and bring Mac back to Atlanta. Ramos may be in his prime but his hefty price tag and history of injuries may not worth his cost.
I would agree that McCann would be more of a leader and a better but probably not substantially better average and power. Norris defense, likely cost to get him and cost over the next two years is why I would rather have him to platoon with Flowers rather than pay the hefty load for someone who has been consistently declining.
Agreed or go with a free agent McCann was passed on once for a reason now ppl want us to trade for his last declining years? Yikes
Depends all on how much NYY is eating.
You’re right it’d be easier to trade Matt Kemp for Buster Posey or Gary Sanchez, jeez.
Atlanta Braves Fan 4 Life
Frank Wren passed on him but he also decimated our farm system because of his inability to see talent ( i.e. poor drafting) and poor decision making.
Just Another Fan
Derek Norris might save his career if he moves to 1B and focusses on his hitting, which he still has a decent ceiling with. But he’s a very awful defensive catcher. McCann is superior to him in every way and Flowers would be a great backup duo.
Seeing as the rest of the league is overpaying for Yankees players, I just hope the Braves don’t give up too much for him. At most he’s worth a low level prospect if the Braves take on his money. I wouldn’t give up a top 10 org prospect for him, due to the money.
Again this scenario all depends on how much the Yankees pay and who the Braves would give up. If the Yankees treat it as a salary dump im all for it but if not im not giving up legit prospects or taking on the full salary
As a Yankee fan first, I really like Brian McCann on the team and as I’ve said 100 times, the Yankees still need someone to back up Sanchez. Catching is demanding and there will be injuries small or large. If the Braves want McCann to return, I certainly understand why, but they’re taking his entire salary and trading a single prospect. Before anyone chucks their popcorn on the ground over this, you have to view this from the Yankee stand point. If they trade McCann they need to pay someone to be a back-up. What’s the going rate for something like that? 2 years and $18mm? I try to think of the pending free agent catchers and it’s not like they’re going to sign Ramos, so who else? A whole lot of unreliable types. So why should the Yanks trade McCann and say “eat half”, which is $17mm, to turn around and spend $18mm on someone for 2 years, most likely an inferior catcher. Nah, I rather keep McCann even if overpaid as it’s a known quantity and the cost will be even ultimately. I suppose there is the risk that he could always become angered by losing playing time, but from a dollar standpoint, I have a hard time seeing a better back-up option for the Yanks. Only way it works is if a team takes his entire remaining contract, which for 2 years, isn’t so bad. Sure, it’s a little high, but the Braves have the money for that.
You are certainly overvaluing backup catchers if you think they are making 9 mil per year. That’s about a tenth of the payroll of some teams…
Right on money. And If, I say again IF, the Yankees eat some of the contract, I would say no more then combined 8-10 million but the prospect of prospects coming back go up substantially in price to perhaps a top ten. I’m all fine keeping McCann in the mix as a steady veteran influence and we now lack left handed power next year so he can be a capable everyday DH and back up catcher to right handed Sanchez. Two years is nothing. If Braves go and sign Norris for 3 years at 45 million when they could have gotten McCann at 2 for say 24-34 million I would guess McCann value goes up exponentially seeing he only has 2 years to go and helps young Brave staff!
That is way over valuing the price for backup catchers. Seldom do they make more than 2 or 3 million at absolute most per season.
The thing is, if the Braves pay the entire salary the most you are getting back is Recker and Hursh. If you pay half of it, then you are talking about getting Recker, Ruiz and Sims. Big difference in prospect value there.
That yankees have NO need for recker or Ruiz. Sims maybe.
We don’t need of prospects or a catcher. We have Romine and Higgy.
If we eat half Mcann for touki and demeritte if we eat more.
If we add Headley and eat his contract and half McCann’s the touki, sims and demeritte
You are high as hell if you think the Braves give up Touki or Demeritte for McCann.
Why can’t they just keep Romine as the back up?
I actually registered just to reply to you baseball legend. If you are truly a Yankee fan how can you overlook all the catching depth the team has? We have Austin Romine in the majors right now looking like a very fine backup option. We also have Kyle Higashioka absolutely laying waste to AAA. Higashioka is a tremendous receiver who suffered some injuries but looks at the age of 26 to finally be ready.
I hope the Yankees pay down a ton of McCann’s deal and ship him off for as many prospects as possible. He is still a fine player but a terrible use of the teams resources as only a backup. He doesn’t hit enough to be a real option at 1st or Dh.
It was reported the Yankees asking price was Folty and Inciarte for McCann. Needless to say, he won’t be in Atlanta at that price. Hope it works out. Atlanta can’t afford to tie a significant portion of its payroll to McCann, so the Yankees would have to kick in some good cash if they want a legitimate prospect in return. Cashman and Coppy have both done very well on their recent trades so it’ll be interesting to see who would get the better end of a deal, if one were to transpire
I hope that’s not true, that package is ridiculous when the Yankees are clearly trying to make room.
Yea but McCann means more to Atlanta. You can’t replace a team icon plus only Norris and Ramos are near his ability. Both are injury prone and Ramos will be much more expensive especially if the yankees eat half the contact.
Baseball legend has a very reasonable argument, but I would say trade McCann now.
Aging catchers can lead to troubling performances, so I would trade McCann while he is well-valued and get yourself a very nice prospect, even if you have to throw in a few million.
As for a backup catcher, I don’t see why Ryan Hannigan for $2MM or so would be a bad thing.
It would terrible, why? 1. Hannigan can’t hit water if he fell out a boat. 2. He is only solid defensively at best.
1. Backup catcher, most catchers can’t hit a lick anyways 2. Backup catcher…
Not to mention a veteran grinder who would be a great influence on dirty sanchez.
Norris is less then 4 years younger and half the player McCann is. If we’re Cashman I’d take Ruiz or Peterson and call it a day. That’s not asking much. A 4th outfielder type and probably now a starter as a 3rd/1st baseman
This would be dumb for the Braves. Opposite of rebuilding.
Not signing him to 10 year deal. We have zero in near future at C. Two years to train another is not a bad idea for near $9M a year.
Not a bad option- He’s one of the better Braves players in their history (probably best catcher second to maybe Javy Lopes) so he will sell tickets and he is a good club house guy with a decent bat. However, I wouldn’t give up any good prospects to get him though, as there is a strong catcher’s market this offseason- if you can’t get him cheap, go for Weiters or something like that.
I’d be glad to have him back, but I wouldn’t give much to pay his entire salary. Maybe Recker and a guy like Jason Hursh or similar. The prospect options increase as the salary comes down. But even with half paid I don’t see Mac worth more than say Recker, Sims and a guy like Ruiz .
I wonder if the Braves could work a deal where they agree to take Headley and his entire salary too, if the Yankees pay half of Mac’s deal and accept a lower prospect haul. Would make sense for both sides as the Braves aren’t going to compete next year and can afford to eat salary to save prospects….. it’s a thought.
I don’t understand anyone who’s against this.
1) Freeman would feel more comfortable and have more help from a leadership standpoint.
2) He’s a perfect platoon with Flowers
2) BMac would seriously help the young pitching staff
3) Fans would be stoked. I would be stoked. BMac was my favorite Brave and I think a lot of people felt that way because he and Freeman were the heart of the baby braves.
4) The Braves literally have nothing but Tyler Flowers next year. BMac is signed for 2 more seasons (through his age 34 season), this would be a perfect transition until Astudillo, Herbert, or Kade Scivicque shows they are worthy of waiting on/the Braves get a young catcher for the future.
1) Another lefty in the lineup, though the platoon takes care of this to some degree. If Kemp sticks around, Freeman/Kemp/McCann is a powerful trio.
2) Will cost money. Hopefully the Yankees would cover at least half. But the Braves have already stated they want to increase payroll.
How could you miss the biggest negative???? Personally I think that the Braves are least worried about the money part (although the amount of money eaten is certainly part of the hold up), it is the prospects/players that would have to be dealt that would be the most significant drawback. The initial reports were that the Yankees sought BOTH Inciarte and Folty. The subtraction of any significant player or prospect at this point is too much to pay for McCann unless the Yankees ate a significant portion of his salary. If the Braves and the Yankees wouldn’t had been stuck on that issue earlier then McCann would had already been with the Braves.
Atlanta Braves Fan 4 Life
Great points and he is a six time All Star. Those days might be over but at 32 years young he could have a resurgence. Lucroy would have been what Atlanta needed and wanted, that ship has sailed Mac, Weiters and Ramos are most likely the candidates. The latter two have concerns of their own and seeking a large contract.
While I’d love bmac back I’d rather us overpay for the hot hitting Wilson Ramos
Afraid the new ballpark won’t sell tickets, eh? So that’s why they’re rushing Dansby Swanson.
Note: I think a reunion with McCann could work for the Braves if the Yankees eat a good portion of the contract.
The Braves answer to Catcher position lies in someone’s AAA system. Of course I preached to draft Zack Collins, now the No. 3 ranked catching and top 100 prospect; but we took another pitcher instead-dumb move. Carson Kelly, Andrew Knapp, or Austin Barnes, or maybe Chance Sisco should be the Braves targets now. Knapp is blocked somewhat by the two Phillies MLB players Rupp and Ruiz followed by Jorge Alfaro. If Rupp could be obtained that would be great if not the Braves should be working with the Phillies for Alfaro or Knapp. It will take a top pitching prospect to get him but the Braves have them to spare.
McCann has been a great teammate and Yankee but he never really put up the #s the Yankees Expected. Even last year his 2nd half was horrible. That being said I still considered him a plus on the team but the way Sanchez has played you have to give him the job. No team even the Yankees want to pay a backup catcher 18MM. Besides I think Romine has done a really nice job there.
I really hope we don’t trade for Brian McCann. This is extremely painful to say but I mean, cmon! The dudes getting older, he’s declining rapidly, and honestly, he’s just not worth the amount of money he’s signed to. If we could work out a deal in which we didn’t have to trade any of our top 30 prospects, and only payed Brian less than 10 Mil. a year, I’m all for it! I love McCann’s clubhouse presence and his ability to help a team’s youth get better. I don’t however see him as even a good short term starter, but he’d be a great backup and mentor to the team.